Pharma is currently in search of new ways in order to build excellent relationships with its audience. The old ordinary engagement tools definitely do not serve their turn anymore. Considering the whole range of technological innovations and digital channels emerging at a rapid pace, a variety of marketing campaigns and data management systems, blindly hunting that face-to-face way of delivering your message to customers is no longer a purpose that pays off. Hence, after years of experimentations, undertaken research in expanding digital environment, pharma has been gradually getting used to a new multichannel reality, where each individual is met on their own terms.

Only when multichannel concept becomes a future direction, rather than an attempt to give it a try – companies can build strong, long lasting and stable engagement with their target audience. Effective multichannel marketing strategy can boost top-line growth by more than 10% or reduce costs by 10 to 25% — or both.

multichannel strategy boosts top-line growth

So what is the starting point of building multichannel campaign? As the patient-centric approach has deeply rooted its positions in overall content marketing strategy – no matter how effective a selected channel is, what really matters is its relevance to patients’ needs. Beyond question, the goals between pharma representatives and their customers should be definitely distinguished. With that in mind, we came to…

Insight #1 – the roots of genuine multichannel campaign lie in sharp understanding of the audience’s preferences

 “Sales and marketing teams need to get on the same page with regards to digital pull-through, so that they’re providing a deeper level of support to physicians beyond product promotion and maximizing their investment.” Jeff Wray, DRG Digital Analyst

HCPs&pharma reps – what is their engagement model?

HCPs are in pursuit of a clear objective – to excel in improving patients’ health and serve their purpose as much as they are able to during clinical practice. Considering their tough schedule, any disturbance during the day is not acceptable. Especially, if any of those interruptions do not bring significant results or even worse – are not relevant to their field of expertise.

On the other hand, we have pharma representatives, whose target is presenting as much information as they can but, at the same time, do it within very limited amount of time. Long story short according to a survey from DRG Digital’s Manhattan Research, doctors find pharma sales visits redundant. But short story long:

  • Medical oncologists who see reps say that 68% of the time, their reps show them info they have already seen, and dermatologists say the same of 62% of eDetailing. It comes as no surprise, that only 11% HCPs prefer to be contacted through in-person visits from med reps.
  • On the other hand, there’s no shortage of info nowadays, right? Today’s physicians prefer to search required medical info online, while pharma reps sometimes neglect this fact and boring them with useless data; 74% of physicians use search engines weekly and 52% still use pharma digital resources regularly, with product-related info being the most accessed website resource.
  • In spite of this digital independence, 63% of physicians agreed that in-person meetings with sales reps are sometimes valuable. However, this approval concerns only those cases when doctors are shown content not blatantly related to the product. It proves the fact that any non-promotional or additional educational resources shown on tablets can strengthen their engagement. So, less push, more pull approach is in favor.

All abovementioned facts led us to make a conclusion – physicians justifiably want to be more in control of time, manner and circumstances they want to be approached.  In this respect, a couple of specific tools in multichannel marketing toolkit should be a necessity to streamline and keep a solid engagement.

collaboration between sales and marketing teams is of high importance

What physicians expect from pharma reps knocking on their door?

Look at what some latest stats among HCPs show:

  • 70% prefer digital over paper-based pharma rep visit
  • 60% cite ‘I concentrate more on the information’ as a benefit of eDetailing
  • 63% think eDetailing is the future of promotional contact

It has been proved that delivering your presentation on tablets visually with added interactive elements&components during a visit drives more engagement and makes greater impact. As research shows: 35% of physicians were “very satisfied” with their interactions with reps using tablets.

eDetailing for f2f visits. Just imagine how easily you can present your data blocks within just one interactive scheme. Whatever the pharmaceutical representative needs to show, if it underpinned by videos, graphics or any visual features – you will be surprised by results. What is more, without extra bothering it carries an educational value within the same amount of time. It even does not play a significant role on what purpose the initial message was based on, as it could be easily adjusted, repurposed or readopted for specific audiences and needs. Here is a key point: there is no need to search some “prepared” representative but instead, focus on much wiser solution – simply choose a strategy based on smart multichannel approach.

Remote communication. Another benefit eDetailing is that its demonstration is possible not only on the spot but also remotely. There are solutions, which enable doctors not to miss out on educational inputs from reps just because they are caught in a tight schedule of patients’ care. The major benefit of remote communication with reps is that it puts doctors in charge of his own time, schedule and availability. No wonder that 76% of physicians agree that remote detailing ‘fits into my work schedule better’. And the advantage of remote detailing does not end there. Pharma marketers too, highly appreciate this channel as a source of top reliable insights to track HCPs audience’s preferences, which provides them with a solid base for multichannel campaign.

Keeping in check with the mobile. What is more, new devices and mobile healthcare apps have already evolved into pharma’s reality becoming a kick-start for future multichannel advancements. How? 69%  of HCPs use a mobile device to access medical content daily and  57% value medical apps. It’s important not to underestimate this channel while creating your multichannel customer experience, as it’s one the most promising one among others. That’s why your content should be adoptable to the extent that is equally comfortable for engagement from laptop as it is from mobile screen. It involves all types of content – starting from e-mail to eDetailing for remote communication, from a landing page to the way your website looks. It guarantees the following – save time/budget/efforts while building customizable customer experience.

Here we came closer to Insight #2 – multichannel is The approach to better track, serve and measure

You can see how multichannel has become a reliable “weapon” for constant measuring and precise tracking each step of customer journey. Easy tracking comes with better measuring and, as a result, receiving real time, relevant feedbacks. And thanks to its flexibility and scalability, your content can be readopted and repurposed to different audiences through various channels within short amount of time. All these lead to better outcomes, less efforts and, consequently, higher level of service.

It’s important to highlight that all goals and resources including human, technical and financial should be aligned in one solid combination. Afterwards, multichannel campaign will evolve holistically and bring hoped-for outcomes. It’s not about reducing costs, it’s about being equally productive without adding or excluding any other aspects from the strategy. Multichannel cannot be a short strategy solution for pushing your brand forward but instead – a long-term company vision.

Thus, a solution to deliver the right message via relevant channel while keeping brand identity exists. You are able to launch and develop your audience engagement at various levels and customize your content flow accordingly within one single platform. There will be no need for additional promotional costs not at the sake of budget economy because of a wide range of automated features and functionalities the platform grants you with.

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